miércoles, 29 de junio de 2016

For decades, the Sexual Revolution was supposed to be about freedom. Today, it is about coercion.


by Sherif Girgis

For decades, the Sexual Revolution was supposed to be about freedom. Today, it is about coercion. Once, it sought to free our sexual choices from restrictive laws and unwanted consequences. Now, it seeks to free our sexual choices from other people's disapproval.

That’s a sharp turn—but it was inevitable. The ideals of the Sexual Revolution call for it: That is one lesson of the year that has passed since the Supreme Court imposed same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. Most of Obergefell’s lay supporters were simply moved by concern for our LGBT neighbors—a worthy and urgent concern that the Church must be the first to heed, as Wesley Hill hasbeautifully reminded us. But the Court’s ruling itself depended on a broader sexual progressivism; and its cultural fallout has made clearer that sexual progressivism is illiberal. Absorb its vision of the human person wholesale, and you will soon conclude that social justice requires getting others to subscribe to that vision.

In short, the ideas that Obergefell imposed on our government could hardly stop there; as with an evangelical creed, the legal system could not embrace them without feeling bound to spread them. Obergefell is thus best seen as a religious bull from our national Magisterium, the Supreme Court, by the pen of its high priest, Justice Kennedy. With all the solemnity of a Chalcedon or Trent, it formalized new doctrines for our nation’s civil religion—Gnostic ideas about the human person. Ideas that, by their very nature, create an obligation to recruit new adherents. (And ideas that—unlike true religion—could serve their purpose whether or not they were accepted freely.)

Obergefell has thus inspired fidelity and stigmatized heresy, on pain of the (civic) mortal sins of bigotry and injustice. One year later, we can take the measure of its consequences—and prepare for future ones—only if we spell out the ideas it embraced, and why they demand to be enforced.

To hold that same-sex marriage is part of the fundamental right to marry, or necessary for giving LGBT people the equal protection of the laws, the Court implicitly made a number of other assumptions: that one-flesh union has no distinct value in itself, only the feelings fostered by any kind of consensual sex; that there is nothing special about knowing the love of the two people whose union gave you life, whose bodies gave you yours, so long as you have two sources of care and support; that what children need is parenting in some disembodied sense, and not mothering and fathering. It effectively had to treat contrary views as irrational.

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